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Professor and students in the chemistry lab.


Chemistry is the study of… everything. Well, not everything, exactly, but the substances that make up everything—the parts and particles of all the matter that make up what we know as the world, including building materials, clothes, drugs, food, and a million other things.

Degree Types
Major , Minor
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Research Facilities
4 research labs

Chemists investigate matter’s structure and composition, its properties, and the way it behaves when it interacts with other types of matter. In McDaniel’s classrooms and laboratories, you’ll have ample opportunity to discover what parts of the vast field of Chemistry are most interesting to you. And your professors will be with you every step of the way—counseling you to ensure that you take the courses that will help you discover and best meet your career goals.

Our Mission

The Chemistry Department of McDaniel College meets the needs of a diverse population of students. In all of the department courses, the goal is to produce active, inquisitive learners who, with competence, integrity, and professionalism, are able to acquire and analyze data, formulate and critically evaluate hypotheses, and communicate results through both written and oral means. We seek to provide our students with a sound foundational knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices of the discipline of chemistry, including the areas of inorganic, organic, analytical, physical, and biochemistry. We also provide students with training in the skills of traditional, instrumental and computational methods of investigation.

You’ll also have plenty of opportunities for internships and research to give you practical experience. Recently, internships for McDaniel students have ranged from participation as research assistants in the genomics lab at the National Cancer Institute to shadowing physicians in the Emergency Department of a nearby full-service hospital.

Distinctive Courses

CHE 2208 - Bioanalytical Chemistry

An introduction to physicochemical principles and techniques underlying a wide range of modern analytical methods used in chemistry. Such methods are applied in areas as diverse as forensics, archeology, environmental monitoring, and space science.

CHE 3307 - Foundations of Physical Chemistry

This course covers the fundamental theories of physical chemistry and their application to chemical and biological systems. Specifically, students will be exposed to three different sets of theories including the theories of quantum mechanics and their application to electronic and molecule structure and spectroscopy; thermodynamics theories and their application to energy transfer and chemical and physical equilibrium; and finally kinetic theories and their application to molecular motion, transport properties, and chemical reaction rates.

CHE 4493 - Chemistry Seminar

Presentation of laboratory or literature findings on current topics of chemical interest by students, faculty, and visiting lecturers. This course is the Capstone Experience in Chemistry and is required of all senior Chemistry and Biochemistry majors and Exercise Chemistry dual majors.

Special Opportunities

Student teaching one-on-one in elementary school setting.

Chemistry Major with Education Minor

Thinking about teaching someday? A minor in Education is a great place to start. 

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

2020 summer research students and professor Dana Ferraris on Eaton Hall steps

Research Experience McDaniel students join in worldwide research efforts to discover drugs to treat COVID-19 with real world outcomes

In the face of the deadly global coronavirus pandemic, pharmaceutical data vaults have been unlocked and shared – an unprecedented move in research that McDaniel Chemistry professor Dana Ferraris seized to give his students the opportunity this summer to discover drugs to fight COVID-19.

Future Career Paths

McDaniel chemistry graduates go on to great graduate school programs and exciting careers at a wide variety of companies. Students have recently been employed at places like:

  • The University of Texas Health Science Center
  • Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • The Food and Drug Administration
  • Kimmell Cancer Center
  • Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania
  • LabCorp

Top Tier Graduate School Opportunities

Recent graduates have also gained acceptance in Chemistry PhD programs at several of the top tier graduate schools including:

  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Northeastern University
  • University of Maryland
Kaitlin Mahoney at NY marathon 2019

Alumni Spotlight Dr. Kaitlin Mahoney ’13

Dr. Kaitlin Mahoney ’13 is in her element. The Exercise Chemistry graduate is now in training as Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician with the University of Tennessee. She sees patients at a family medicine clinic and at the UT student health center. She is learning from neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, doctors of physical therapy and athletic trainers and is gaining experience as a team physician with the Knoxville Ice Bears. Becoming a physician and working with athletes of all kinds has been on Mahoney’s radar for as long as she can remember.

Dana Ferraris

Faculty Spotlight Dana Ferraris Associate Professor and Department Chair

“I spent over 15 years as a medicinal chemist working on drug discovery projects in the pharmaceutical industry. I am still passionate about teaching undergraduates medicinal chemistry and oncology based drug discovery.” 

Recent News for Chemistry